The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker is a lovely little restaurant in Clerkenwell serving vegan pub food, just a 5-minute walk from both Angel and Farringdon tube stations. The pub has been here for ages, but it only went vegan this January because the owners wanted to find new ways to improve their sustainability. Meat industry’s loss, our win – the food here is fantastic!
Located in St John Street, The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker is just the right distance away from any station to have that lovely, local feel, but just close enough to not be a massive pain to get to, either. The perfect balance, in my opinion!
The pub is built out of three rooms, out of which my favourite is the room at the back which has a massive sky window – it’s so lovely and light! The interior, in general, is very simple pub decor without too many frills, and it really feels like the kind of place where you’d like to while away hours and hours in. They have plenty of board games to help with that, too!
Being a local pub, The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker has lots of lovely locally made drinks from craft beers to this yummy raspberry soda from Square Root London – the flavours were so fresh and not artificial at all.
It’s always hard to choose what to eat here as the menu at The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker is all around amazing, but I just had to go for the chorizo, jalapeno and refried bean grilled cheese sandwich as it’s so good I can hardly believe it’s vegan! Chorizo is the one thing I miss from my meat eating days because it’s so difficult to recreate, however, the guys here have absolutely nailed it – it’s so good!
Not only is the vegan chorizo amazing, but the ‘cheese’ is also really lovely, too – so stringy and flavourful. I honestly think you couldn’t tell it was vegan if you didn’t already know! It’s quite hard to make vegan cheese good (I’ve tried quite a few different ones!) but The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker have really succeeded in making a really yummy alternative to the “real thing”.
The sandwich costs only £7 and comes with either a side of fries or salad. I chose the salad as I ordered a starter, too, and knew that I couldn’t fit the fries in with all that food!
My starter (well, I shared with a friend…) were these glorious mozzarella sticks. They come served with a slightly spicy and smoky marinara dip and are just so, so good. The vegan cheese, once again, feels so cheese-y and the coating was super crispy and crunchy. Well worth an order, though I would recommend sharing with someone as the portions here are quite big!
My friend Tytti ordered the Nashville Hot Seitan Burger which consisted of seitan ‘chicken’, pickles, garlic mayo and shredded lettuce and can be served with either fries or salad. When I asked her what she thought of it, she told me it was really filling, super delicious and, basically, a 10 out of 10!
As you have probably already seen from both mine and Tytti’s reactions, we freaking loved The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker and its fantastic vegan pub food. It’s ridiculously good value (the most expensive thing on the menu is £9 and the portions are huuuuge) and everything that I’ve tried so far has been so good. Much, much recommended!
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